Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel


Social Work


Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams are designed to be an all-inclusive delivery of services to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. The purpose of this study is to gain a greater understanding of the benefits of exercise in the recovery of individuals with mental illness receiving services from ACT teams. There are currently 26 ACT teams in the State of Minnesota. Through 11 face-to-face interviews and eight written responses to interview questions, five themes developed: (a) The Role and Influence of Team Leads on Exercise, (b) Why individuals on Assertive Community Treatment Teams are Exercising, (c) How Incentives and Reinforcements are Used, (d) What Types of Exercise are Used, and (e) Barriers that Negatively Impact on the Effectiveness of Exercise on Mental Health. The findings of this study suggest that ACT Team Leads believe exercise benefits mental and physical health. However, a variety of barriers contribute to low levels of formal exercise goals on ACT teams. While this study is exploratory in nature, it holds implications for social work practice, policy, and future research.

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Social Work Commons